Heather Kravas

Doris Duke Impact Award, 2015

Seattle, WA

Heather Kravas creates dances, which she describes as, “punk in attitude, feminist in spirit, and deliberately anti-spectacle.” Her work also explores her curiosity about the relationship between power, desire, and conformity to societal norms. Her 2013 work, a quartet, was part folk dance and part ballet. These movement styles created a more structured setting, leaving room to investigate the relationship between an individual and a group. The Green Surround (2011) featured nine women, analyzing the practice of perfection, and what happens when it is not achieved. Striving to create a new definition of beauty when perfection fails, the work was named one of the top ten choreographic works of the year by Artforum. She has received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award (2014), a MAP Fund (2013) grant, and multiple NEFA FUSED awards. Her current project, play, thing, explores the female condition by presenting an overlapping series of emotional states and actions, including shakes, thrusts, and sobs.

  • Photo Credit: DD Dorvillier
  • Heather Kravas- a quartet: /79995478
    a quartet
  • Heather Kravas- The Green Surround (2011): /112451466
    The Green Surround (2011)
  • Photo Credit: Ryutaro Mishima
  • Photo Credit: Ryan Jensen
    The Green Surround (2011)

What are your key goals for the award period? What challenges, desires, drives or needs are inspiring these goals?

For the next three years, I have conceived of several projects that grapple with the formal possibilities of minimalism in conjunction with an analysis into the ways power exists within the theater as a microcosm of our world: play, thing, presents a cacophonous world of women's exertions through a self-examined and exploited personal vocabulary. white box study, a solo work, is a durational poem, presented as a dance, for the realm of the museum and Visions of Beauty is a structural inversion of my 2011 work, The Green Surround and will employ an all-male cast to explore notions of perfection and gender assumption. I feel challenged to make three large-scale performances in as many years and excited to discover the ways in which the rapid succession of work may inform my process and provoke my creative sensibilities. Aware of a self-reflexive impulse, I am compelled to test my limits as an artist in terms of prolificacy and content.